SUMMATION OF THE LIFE & LEADERSHIP OF FAMU’S PAST PRESIDENTS, A SERIES

Dwight Floyd

Dwight Floyd

How can any FAMU alumni, Board member, administrator, faculty, student, or supporter give voice to FAMU’s future without understanding who we are and where we came from? Speaking for myself, it is easy to be well meaning, but lack understanding. This series is presented to link the past with the present and future. I could have cited sources and encouraged others to read the books and articles most pertinent to the subject. I chose instead to summarize history and provide a synopsis of events, failures, and achievements.

There are so many subplots behind these stories. In this summary the plight of Black America in the course of history is greatly illuminated, though from a narrow view. I tried to keep the summaries brief and on point. Still, history isn’t necessarily entertaining and may only be interesting to nerds like me. I encourage those with the wherewithal to read these summaries, to dig deeper and learn more about our history. In the process you will learn more about yourselves and those around you.

A journalist once wrote that it is harder to be an objective writer than it is to simply form a hypothesis and base your work on assumptions. It is the same with a criminal investigator. There are those who upon perusal of the evidence quickly make assumptions that largely determine what and how they investigate. A good writer, like a good criminal investigator, draws on the facts and summarizes what he or she finds, not knowing whether in the end there will be a story worth writing. To that end I am presenting this summary of facts as best known and leaving it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

This summary is chiefly a review of prior works, most notably those of Dr. Leedell W. Neyland, whose published works in my opinion are both objective and thorough. For his efforts toward documenting the history of Florida A&M University he is owed a debt of gratitude.

PART 1: THOMAS DE SAILLE TUCKER [1887-1901]
PART 2: NATHAN B. YOUNG [1901-1922]
PART 3: WILLIAM H. A. HOWARD, ACTING [1922-1924]
PART 4: J. R. E. LEE [1924-1944]
PART 5: JUBIE B. BRAGG, ACTING [1944]
PART 6: WILLIAM H. GRAY [1944-1949]
PART 7: H. MANNING EFFERSON, ACTING [1949-1950]
PART 8: GEORGE W. GORE, JR. [1950-1968]
PART 9: BENJAMIN L. PERRY, JR; [1968-1977]
PART 10: WALTER L. SMITH [1977-1985]
PART 11: FREDERICK S. HUMPHRIES [1985-2001]

Comments 2

  1. Byron Dobson

    I’m just seeing this and it looks fascinating. Is there some more background on how and why you started the series?

    1. Post
      Author
      The Editor

      Hello Byron. I read your comment on the series yesterday. I started researching to understand the role of the Board of Trustees and their relationship to the president. What I quickly learned is that I didn’t really understand the concerns and various arguments against Dr. Mangum. I realized also that most people arguing for and against her have a narrow perspective on the history of FAMU. Likewise, the Board of Trustees lack maturity, even moreso with so many new members. What we all have in common is FAMU’s history and mission. Understanding them will help us advance FAMU. Our commonality is in the history and mission, yet there is no objectivity either among the Board of Trustees or those who portend to know what is best for FAMU. It is a long shot, but I am hoping to bring some perspective to the discussions and get us focused on the challenges that are deeper and far beyond the personalities at play.

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